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John Ragan’s DeVine Intervention

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, John Ragan MW, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

“We wanted to do more than take food to the Rockaways,” said John Ragan, the Wine Director of the Union Square Hospitality Group, and the man behind DeVine Intervention.  An online wine centric auction to raise funds to benefit the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the auction begins today and runs until April 7, 2013.  With 250 lots up for grabs, including a trip for four to the Robert Sinskey guest house in Napa, a Team Machine SLR01 Full Carbon bike signed by 17-time Tour de France rider George Hincapie, and a number of private dinners with wine writers, DeVine Intervention hopes to raise at least $250,000, with every penny going directly to the Mayor’s Fund, who will handle all of the credit cards used for bidding.

When setting up the auction, Ragan had four goals in mind: to get the food and wine world involved, to make it easy for participants to say yes, to make their efforts painless, and for there to be no expenses so that “every penny could get to the end point.”

Beginning today, these lots are open for bidding.  With bottles of DRC, Krug, Laroche and a selection of large format etched bottles up for bidding, most of which have been donated by members of the local restaurant community, this is the first online wine auction ever conducted for the Mayor’s Fund.

There’s even a group of lots titled: “The Good Life”, that includes the two trips, a dinner with Jay McInerney, who will bring his own wine selections, and the bike signed by Hincapie, as described below.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, George Hincapie

If you’re the kind of person who keeps a wine bottle in your bike’s water bottle cage, this lot may be for you. World-renowned championship rider, George Hincapie and T. Edward Wines NY, will ship you the ultimate cyclist’s package: a 53 cm. Team Machine SLR01 Full Carbon bike (the model raced by Hincapie’s BMC teammate Cadel Evans when he won the 2011 Tour de France), outfitted with only the very best – SRAM RED mechanics, Easton Wheels, Fizik saddle, Shimano Carbon Pedals, Elite Bottle Cages, and Hincapie Water Bottles. You’ll take to the roads in style with your 2013 Hincapie Sportswear Development Team racing kit, including jerseys, bibs, hats, and gloves emblazoned with the brand of Hincapie’s own professional Development riders; or, you can show off your wine cred in your custom T. Edward Wines racing kit, with a signature jersey and bibs. Last but certainly not least, you’ll receive a special jersey personally signed by the one and only George Hincapie, a true pro’s pro in the cycling world, as thanks for your “DeVine Intervention.” In his 20 years of professional riding, Hincapie has been on the winning team in the Tour de France nine times, finished the race a record 17 times, and was consistently and honorably appointed Road Captain on countless teams. If you can’t beat the pros, you can at least play the part.

Bid on the bike here: http://bit.ly/XGW7fV

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, George Hincapie

“Obviously everyone did what they could with clothes and food,” said Ragan of the the immediate relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy, “but there are folks who, three months later, still aren’t home.”

Following Hurricane Sandy, the USHG first took care of their members, ensuring that everyone was fed and could get back to work a soon as possible; then Ragan and his colleagues established the groundwork for DeVine Intervention.  Initially, “We weren’t going to do any experiential events,” said Ragan, “but then Delta got involved with first class tickets.”  Of the two travel lots, he said, “These are two diametrically opposed wine trips.  The California trip [to Napa with the Sinskeys] is for ‘in-the-know’ wine guys, because it’s not a tour.  It’s the Sinskeys‘ guest house and dinner with the Sinskeys.  That will appeal to the folks who’ve been-there-done-that with Napa.  The other trip to Washington wine country is at the opposite end of the spectrum.”  With three nights at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, this is a trip with barrel tastings, private tours and dinners with winemakers.

In addition to dinners with Eric Asimov, Jancis Robinson, Jay McInernery, Antonio Galloni and Thomas Matthews of the Wine Spectator, there is also a dinner at Red Hook Winery that’s up for bidding.  With five tables of eight, there are five options to bid on “a small intimate dinner with five great chefs to celebrate the overcoming of this hardship,” said Ragan.  With Chef Michael Anthony of the Gramercy Tavern as one of the chefs already confirmed, Ragan is seeking to add a concert pianist to the night’s equation.

In addition to all of the donations made, our friends at Western Carriers have photographed the goods on auction and will handle all of the shipping. “People really stepped up,” said John.  Up to 90% of those asked, agreed to donate; and one anonymous donor supplied 20 lots.

“I don’t think people are going to believe it until they see it,” he said.  And we hope the same will be said for the money raised, when the auction closes on April 7th.

Do the right thing and start your bidding here: http://www.de-vineintervention.com

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